Thursday, October 5, 2017

Halloween Book Pick | Review of These Vicious Masks

About the Book

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they're not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.

My Review

I've had this book on my shelf for a little while now, and I thought it would make a good October read. These Vicious Masks definitely has its fill of danger, creepiness, and twists! But what I also loved was the thread of humor, courtesy of the snarky heroine, the blithe Mr. Kent, and some funny secondary characters (see last paragraph of the review for a side note).

All is not fun and games, though. Be prepared for drama, lots of revelations, and intense scenes and situations. While I certainly wouldn't categorize this as a "horror" story—it's much too tame for that that, evidenced by the fact I was able to read it—this young-adult novel does have a darker side to foil its lighter elements.

The historical setting adds to the shadowy backdrop: bleak London streets and alleys, spooky houses, and places where polite society shouldn't be seen. Although the characters and their attitudes sometimes feel too modern for that setting. (But I will add how surprised I was to find and read a book titled Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow by Jerome K. Jerome, copyrighted 1890, in which those "idle thoughts" felt quite modern and relatable—and sometimes hilarious. Definitely an intriguing read. :) But I digress.)

These Vicious Masks has a great cast of characters and a plot that holds your attention. And while I didn't absolutely fall in love with it all, I did appreciate the points it makes and discussion it raises about having a "gift" and being brave enough to use it for good.

Side note: I enjoyed the "Swoonworthy Extras" at the back of the book! (I read the paperback.) You get some funny insights into one character's sister and a butler. #TuffinsFTW


MovieCritic said...

Oh, it definitely sounds like a great October read, I'm getting shivers just reading your review!

Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

Amber Holcomb said...


Haha, that's great! ;)

Hmmm...I would say Spring, with perhaps a hint of Summer. :) I confess that sometimes, when a book is outside the typical Christian fiction genres I review, I cheat and choose not to rate it. But I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, if that helps! :) Thanks for asking!